One Day at a Time was a CBS network sitcom, developed by Norman Lear and created by Whitney Blake & Allan Manings, starring Bonnie Franklin, Mackenzie Phillips & Valerie Bertinelli.
The show premiered on December 16, 1975 and during the '80s, it was best known as a staple of the CBS Sunday-night lineup and one of the most successful in TV history, along with Archie Bunker's Place, Alice and The Jeffersons, consistently ranking among the top twenty (if not the top ten) programs in the ratings. However, the network moved the show around on the prime time schedule eleven times.
By the end of the 1982–83 season, viewership was beginning to slip and the series ended season eight ranking at #16. At this time, Bonnie Franklin and Valerie Bertinelli were anxious to move on, but agreed to do a ninth (and final) season.
On May 28, 1984, "One Day at a Time" ended after 9 seasons and 209 episodes.
The show was about Ann Romano, a divorced mother who moves from her home in Logansport, Indiana to Indianapolis with her daughters: the rebellious Julie and the wisecracking Barbara.
Ann frequently struggles with maintaining her role as mother while affording her daughters the freedom she never had as a young woman. David Kane, Ann's divorce lawyer and neighbor, takes a romantic interest in her, but she isn't ready to remarry. Dwayne Schneider, the building's quirky superintendent (most often referred to only by his last name), provides usually-unwanted advice to the tenants.
After David takes a job in Los Angeles, the focus squarely rests on Ann's dilemmas as a single mother and career woman as well as the girls' growing pains, with Schneider becoming a more welcomed part of the family.
Ann's strained relationship with her ex-husband Ed slowly mends as does the girls' relationship with his new wife, Vickie. Julie and Barbara advance through high school and into the working world, and Julie eventually marries flight attendant Max Horvath.
Alex, the orphaned son of Ann's deceased boyfriend, moves in, changing the dynamics in the female-dominated apartment.
Later in the series run, Julie gives birth to a daughter, "Little Annie" Horvath, Barbara marries dental student Mark Royer, and Ann's mother Katherine moves nearby.
In the penultimate episode, Ann decides to take a job in London, leaving her daughters in Indianapolis to raise families of their own. In the series finale, Schneider also leaves town, moving to Florida to take care of his niece and nephew.
Like many sitcoms developed by Norman Lear, "One Day at a Time" often tackled serious issues in life and relationships, particularly those related to second wave feminism. Stories depicting events such as weddings, births and other important milestones frequently stretched over 2, 3 & 4-part episodes.
- Bonnie Franklin as Ann Romano Royer
- Mackenzie Phillips as Julie Cooper Horvath [seasons 1-5; 7-9]
- Valerie Bertinelli as Barbara Cooper Royer
- Pat Harrington Jr. as Dwayne Schneider
- Richard Masur as David Kane [season 1]
- Mary Louise Wilson as Ginny Wrobliki [season 2]
- Michael Lembeck as Max Horvath [seasons 5-9]
- Nanette Fabray as Grandma Katherine Romano [season 5-9]
- Ron Rifkin as Nick Handris [season 6]
- Glenn Scarpelli as Alex Handris [seasons 6-8]
- Shelley Fabares as Francine Webster [seasons 7-9]
- Boyd Gaines as Mark Royer [seasons 7-9]
- Howard Hesseman as Sam Royer [seasons 8-9]
- 1981, 1982: Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress: Series, Miniseries or Television Film to Valerie Bertinelli
- 1982: Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series to Alan Rafkin
- 1984: Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor: Comedy Series to Pat Harrington